SHERLOCK OHMS — Michael Rorick, of Springville, is the owner of Rock Central Music – a recording outfit working primarily in the Buffalo area. Rorick also cracks cases with his expertise in audio forensics. Photo by Joshua Gordon.
SPRINGVILLE — What do Ani DiFranco, Willie Nelson, diamonds, chess and electrical grids have in common?
If one were to ask Michael Rorick, of Springville, they’re all on the same frequency.
Rorick, 51, makes his living as a recording engineer and owner of Rock Central Music. The engineer does most of his work in and around Buffalo and from his home in Springville. Though he’s been everywhere from California to Puerto Rico to New York City – and plenty of places beyond and between – Rorick said Springville is home.
“I really fell in love with the town,” said Rorick. “I’m minutes from anything I want to do, and there are just the nicest people, lots of great neighbors.”
Originally from Orchard Park, Rorick has been playing music since the fourth grade. But music wasn’t always a career.
“My first career choice was a jeweler,” said Rorick. And he did just that, earning a degree and working in the jewelry industry for a number of years. But, he said, he could not deny his passion for sound.
“I love all things audio,” said Rorick. “Music transcends all language and borders.”
In 1993, Rorick started recording full-time, and, in 1996, started teaching audio. A decade later, in 2006-07, he began teaching at the State University of New York at Fredonia.
For Rorick, music and sound appeal to his analytical side, as much as his need to create.
“I like to create, and, for me, it’s about finding the puzzle pieces that fit together.
“I play chess every morning,” he continued. “To exercise my mind.”
He added that he has more than a dozen ongoing games, with people around the world.
These days, Rorick gets paid to solve audio puzzles – literally. As the founder of Strategic Audio Forensics, the engineer helps solve cases of suspected insurance fraud, burglaries and copyright infringement, to name a few.
Rorick explained that, with his expertise and help from specialized software, he can pinpoint the time and place where a recording was made. The United States, he said, is powered by four main electrical grids.
“Let’s say, just as an example, 200 people decide to turn on their air conditioning all at once,” he said. The fluctuations caused by that draw in electricity will affect the rest of a power grid. And that leaves a signature – however slight – on a recording.
When he’s not playing an audio Sherlock Holmes, Rorick is making music – creating his own, and polishing others’. Besides working with musical luminaries like DiFranco and Nelson, Rorick has written and collaborated on songs that have charted all over the world.
“I’ve recorded songs that have charted in Japan, Nigeria [and] France,” he said.
Rorick is also a certified personal trainer and a nutrition specialist – though not as a career. “I do it for fun,” he said, with a laugh.
Recently, the engineer finished recording, mixing and mastering a meditation CD by Dr. James Pilc, a meditation guide and former obstetrician -gynecologist. “Guided Meditation: A Path to Peace” uses binaural tones to enhance meditation, relaxation and creativity.
The engineer said Dr. Pilc’s project appealed to what he called his “very spiritual side.”
For Rorick, that spirituality is right at home with logic and creativity.
“It’s the sum total of all the things that you do that make you who you are,” he said.
“Guided Meditation: A Path to Peace” is available at Vidler’s 5 & 10 and The Bookworm in East Aurora, B is for Books in Orchard Park, New World Gifts and Serendipity Salon and Spa in Williamsville and Aurora Waldorf School Store in West Falls.
To hear samples of the CD, visit www.cdbaby.com/cd/jamespilcmd.